Sunday, April 22, 2012

Abdur Rahman ibn Auf

Abdur Rahman ibni ‘Auf a companion of rasulullah has fascinated me, a successful generous merchant, a millionaire in Madina. There were several accounts about him and some of them:

He was one of the first eight persons to accept Islam. He was one of the ten persons (al-asharatu-l mubashshirin) who were assured of entering Paradise.

His name in Jahiliyyah days was Abu Amr. But when he accepted Islam the noble Prophet called him Abdur-Rahman - the servant of the Beneficent God.

Abdur-Rahman did not escape the punishment which the early Muslims suffered at the hands of the Quraysh. He bore this  punishment with steadfastness as they did.

He remained firm as they did. And when they were compelled to leave Makkah for Abyssiniabecause of the continuous and unbearable persecution, Abdur-Rahman also went.. He returned to Makkah when it was rumored that conditions for the Muslims had improved but, when these rumors proved to be false, he left again for  Abyssinia on a second hijrah. From Makkah once again he made the hijrah to Madinah.

Soon after arriving in Madinah, the Prophet in his unique manner began pairing off the Muhajirin and the Ansar. This established a firm bond of brotherhood and was meant to strengthen social cohesion and ease the destitution of the Muhajirin. Abdur-Rahman was linked by the Prophet with Sad ibn ar-Rabi'ah. Sad in the spirit of generosity and magnanimity with which the Ansar greeted the Muhajirin, said to Abdur-Rahman:

"My brother! Among the people of Madinah I have the most wealth. I have two orchards and I have two wives. See which of the two orchards you like and I shall vacate it for you and which of my two wives is pleasing to you and I will divorce her for  you."

Abdur-Rahman must have been embarrassed and said in reply: "May God bless you in your family and your wealth. But just show me where the suq is.."

Abdur-Rahman went to the market-place and began trading with whatever little resources he had. He bought and sold and his profits grew rapidly. Soon he was sufficiently well off and was able to get married. He went to the noble Prophet with the scent of perfume lingering over him.

"Mahyarn, O Abdur-Rahman!" exclaimed the Prophet - "mahyam" being a word of Yemeni origin which indicates pleasant surprise.

"I have got married," replied Abdur-Rahman. "And what did you give your wife as mahr?"

"The weight of a nuwat in gold."

"You must have a walimah (wedding feast) even if it is with a single sheep. And may Allah  bless you in your wealth," said the  Prophet with obvious pleasure and encouragement.

Thereafter Abdur-Rahman grew so accustomed to business success that he said if he lifted a stone he expected to find gold or silver under it!

Abdur-Rahman distinguished himself in both the battles of Badr and Uhud. At Uhud he remained firm throughout and suffered more than twenty wounds some of them deep and severe. Even so, his physical jihad was matched by his jihad with his  wealth.

Once the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, was preparing to dispatch an expeditionary force... He summoned his companions and said:

"Contribute sadaqah for I want to dispatch an expedition." Abdur-Rahman went to his house and quickly returned. "O Messenger of God," he said, "I have four thousand (dinars).

I give two thousand as a qard to my Lord and two thousand I leave for my family."

When the Prophet decided to send an expedition to distant Tabuk - this was the last ghazwah of his life that he mounted -  his need for finance and material was not greater than his need for men for the Byzantine forces were a numerous and  well-equipped foe. That year in Madinah was one of drought and hardship. The journey to Tabuk was long, more that a thousand kilometers.

Provisions were in short supply. Transport was at a premium so much so that a group of Muslims came to the Prophet pleading to go with him but he had to turn them away because he could find no transport for them.

These men were sad and dejected and came to be known as the Bakka'in or the Weepers and the army itself was called the Army of Hardship ('Usrah). Thereupon the Prophet called upon his companions to give generously for the war effort in the path of God and assured them they would be rewarded. The Muslims' response to the Prophet's call was immediate and generous.

In the fore front of those who responded was Abdur-Rahman . He donated two hundred awqiyyah of gold  whereupon Umar ibn al-Khattab said to the Prophet:

"I have (now) seen Abdur-Rahman committing a wrong. He has not left anything for his family."

"Have you left anything for your family, Abdur-Rahman?" asked the Prophet.

"Yes," replied Abdur-Rahman. "I have left for them more than what I give and better." "How much?" enquired the Prophet.

"What God and His Messenger have promised of sustenance, goodness and reward," replied Abdur-Rahman.

The Muslim army eventually left for Tabuk. There Abdur-Rahman was blessed with an honor which was not conferred on anyone till then. The time of Salat came and the Prophet, peace be on him, was not there at the time. The Muslims chose Abdur-Rahman as their imam. The first rakat of the Salat was almost completed when the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, joined the worshippers and performed  the Salat behind Abdur-Rahman. Could there be a greater honor conferred on anyone than to have been the imam of the most honored of God's creation, the imam of the Prophets, the imam of Muhammad, the Messenger of God!

When the Prophet, peace be on him, passed away, Abdur-Rahman took on the responsibility of looking after the needs of his family, the Ummahaat al-Muminin. He would go with them wherever they wanted to and he even performed Hajj with them to ensure that all their needs were met. This is a sign of the trust and confidence which he enjoyed on the part of the Prophet's family.

Abdur-Rahman's support for the Muslims and the Prophet's wives in particular was well-known. Once he sold a piece of land for forty thousand dinars and he distributed the entire amount among the Banu Zahrah (the relatives of the Prophet's  mother Aminah), the poor among the Muslims and the Prophet's wives.

When Aishah, may God be pleased with her, received  some of this money she asked:

"Who has sent this money?" and was told it was Abdur-Rahman, whereupon she said:

"The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: No one will feel compassion towards you after I die except the sabirin (those who are patient and resolute)."

The prayer of the noble Prophet that Allah should bestow barakah on the wealth of Abdur-Rahman appeared to be with Abdur-Rahman throughout his life. He became the richest man among the companions of the Prophet.

His business transactions invariably met with success and his wealth continued to grow. His trading caravans to and from Madinah grew larger and larger bringing to the people of Madinah wheat, flour, butter, cloths, utensils,

perfume and whatever else was  needed and exporting whatever surplus produce they had.

One day, a loud rumbling sound was heard coming from beyond the boundaries of Madinah normally a calm and peaceful city.  The rumbling sound gradually increased in volume. In addition, clouds of dust and sand were stirred up and blown in the wind. The people of Madinah soon realized that a mighty caravan was entering the city.

They stood in amazement as seven hundred camels laden with goods moved into the city and crowded the streets.

There was much shouting and excitement as people called to one another to come out and witness the sight and see what goods and sustenance the camel caravan had brought.

Aishah, may God be pleased with her, heard the commotion and asked: "What is this that's happening in Madinah?"

and she  was told: "It is the caravan of Abdur-Rahman ibn Auf which has come from Syria bearing his merchandise."

"A caravan making all this commotion?" she asked in disbelief." "Yes, O Umm al-Muminin. There are seven hundred camels."  Aishah shook her head and gazed in the distance as if she was trying to recall some scene or utterance of the past and then  she said:  "I have heard the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, say:

I have seen Abdur-Rahman ibn Auf  entering Paradise creeping."  Why creeping? Why should he not enter Paradiseleaping and at a quick pace with the early companions of the Prophet?  Some friends of his related to Abdur-Rahman the hadith which Aishah had mentioned. He remembered that he had heard the  hadith more than once from the Prophet and he hurried to the house of Aishah and said to her: "Yaa Ammah! Have you  heard that from the Messenger of God, may God bless him and

grant him peace?" "Yes," she replied.  "You have reminded me of a hadith which I have never forgotten," he is also reported to have said. He was so over-joyed and added:

"If I could I would certainly like to enter Paradisestanding. I swear to you, yaa Ammah, that this entire caravan with all its merchandise, I will giver sabilillah."

And so he did. In a great festival of charity and righteousness, he distributed all that the massive caravan  had brought to the  people of Madinah and surrounding areas.

This is just one incident which showed what type of man Abdur-Rahman was. He earned much wealth but he never remained attached to it for its own sake and he did not allow it to corrupt him.

Abdur-Rahman's generosity did not stop there. He continued giving with both his hands, secretly and openly.

 Some of the figures mentioned are truly astounding: forty thousand dirhams of silver, forty thousand dinars of gold, two hundred awqiyyah of gold, five hundred horses to mujahidin setting out in the path of God and one thousand five hundred camels to  another group of mujahidin, four hundred dinars of gold to the survivors of Badr and a large legacy to the Ummahaat al  Muminin and the catalogue goes on. On account of this fabulous generosity,

Aishah said:  "May God give him to drink from the water of Salsabil (a spring in Paradise)." All this wealth did not corrupt Abdur-Rahman  and did not change him. When he was among his workers and assistants, people could not distinguish him from them. One day food was brought to him with which to end a fast. He looked at the food and said:

"Musab ibn Umayr has been killed. He was better than me. We did not find anything of his to shroud him with except what covered his head but left his legs uncovered. . Then God endowed us with the (bounties of) the world... I really fear that our reward has been bestowed on us early (in this world)." He began to cry and sob and could not eat.

Crawling into Paradise

One day he heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying to him, "O lbn `Awf, you are a rich man, and you are going to crawl into Paradise. So lend to Allah in order to set your feet free." Ever since he heard this advice from the Messenger of Allah, he started lending to Allah a goodly loan. Then Allah increased it manifold to His credit in repaying.

One day, he sold some land for 40,000 dinars and distributed it all to the people of Zuhrah tribe, the Mothers of the Faithful, and the poor Muslims. Next day, he provided the Islamic armies with 500 horses, on the third day with 1,500 camels.

When he was about to die, he bequeathed 5,000 dinars in the cause of Allah and 400 dinars for each one who was still living of those who had witnessed ! Even `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, May Allah be pleased with him, took his share of the bequeathal in spite of his riches and said, "Abd Ar-Rahman`s money is halaal and pure. Its food gives health and blessing".

His death

In A.H. 32 his Soul ascended to its Creator. `Aa'ishah, the Mother of the Faithful, wanted then to bestow on him a special honor, proposing as he was dying to bury him in her room near the Messenger (PBUH), Abu Bakr, and `Umar. But as a Muslim he was so refined that he was too modest to put himself in this rank. Besides, he had made a previous promise. One day, he and `Uthmaan lbn Madh`uuun ( from The biography of `Uthmaan Ibn Madh'uun is written in the earlier part of this book.) had promised each other that whoever died after the other would be buried near his friend.

While his soul was preparing for its new journey, his eyes were dripping tears and his tongue was stammering, "I'm afraid of being held up by my friends because of what I had of abundant money. But soon, Allah's calmness overwhelmed him, and tender happiness covered his peaceful face. His ears listened closely, as if there were a sweet voice coming near them. Perhaps he was listening then to the truth of the Messenger's words (PBUH) to him, "`Abd Ar-Rahman Ibn `Awf will enter Paradise." Maybe he was listening also to Allah's promise in His book: 

"Those who spend their wealth in Cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" - (2: 262).

Almighty Allah knows best.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Words of Muhammad s.a.w.

Muhammad s.a.w.’s sword: ‘Forgive him who wrongs you; join him who cuts you off; do well to him who does evil to you, and speak the truth although it is against yourself.’

Anyone who walks with a wrong doer in order to strengthen him knows all the while that he is a wrong doer, has departed from Islam.

The best of your leaders are those whom you love and who love you, for whom you pray, and who pray for you; and the worst of your leaders are those whom you hate, and who hate you, whom you curse, and who curse you.

The messenger of God said to me (Anas), Son, if you are able, keep your heart from morning till night and from night till morning frees from malice towards anyone; then he said, Oh! My son, this is one of my laws, and he who loves my laws loves me.

All Muslims are like one foundation, some parts strengthening others; in such a way they must support each other.

Abuse nobody.’ And I never did abuse anybody after than, neither freeman nor slave, nor camel nor goat. And he added, ‘And if a man abuse you, and reveal a vice which he knew in you then do not disclose one which you know in him.’

Deal gently with the people, and be not harsh; cheer them and condemn them not. Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith.

Do not turn away a poor man…even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you…God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection

It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.

Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.

Whoever is offered an apology from a fellow Muslim should accept it unless he knows that the person apologizing is being dishonest.

Shall I inform you about the people of Paradise? They comprise every obscure unimportant humble person, and if he takes Allah’s Oath that he will do that thing, Allah will fulfil his oath (by doing that). Shall I inform you about the people of the Fire? They comprise every cruel, violent, proud and conceited person.
If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise.

Do not wish to be like anyone, except in two cases:
1.  A man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously.
2.  A man whom Allah has given wisdom (knowledge of the Qur’an and the Hadith) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others.

A true action leads to the path of virtue and good deeds, and virtue paves the way of a person to Paradise, and the said person continues to speak the truth till in the sight of Allah he is named Siddiq or Truthful. Lying leads to vice, and vice leads to indecent acts and if a person goes on lying till in the sight of Allah he is named a liar.

That which is lawful is clear, and that which is unlawful is also quite clear. Between these two is that which is ambiguous, which most people do not know. One who avoids the doubtful safeguards his faith and his honour.

Make your character good for the people.

Hadith Qudsi

The Hadith Qudsi, or sacred hadith, have a particularly important status because their meaning is entirely from Allah (swt) while the wording is that of the Prophet Muhammad (s) himself.
While the common factor between hadith qudsi and the Qur'an is that both contain words from Allah which have been revealed to Muhammad, the main points of difference between Qur'an and hadith qudsi are as follows:
In the Qur'an the precise wording is from Allah, while in the hadith qudsi the wording is given by the Prophet Muhammad.
The Qur'an has been brought to Muhammad only by the Angel Gabriel, while hadith qudsi may also have been inspired otherwise, such as e.g. in a dream.
The Qur'an is inimitable and unique, but not so the hadith qudsi.
The Qur'an has been transmitted by numerous persons, (tawatur) but the hadith and hadith qudsi often only by a few or even one individual. There are hadith qudsi which are sahth, but also others hasan, or even da'if, while there is no doubt at all about any aya from the Qur'an.
Another point is that a hadith qudsi cannot be recited in prayer.
If my servant likes to meet Me, I like to meet him; and if he dislikes meeting Me, I dislike meeting him. Prophetic explanation of this Sacred Hadith: He who likes to meet Allah, Allah likes to meet him; and he who dislikes meeting Allah, Allah dislikes meeting him. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: O Prophet of Allah, is it because of the dislike of death, for all of us dislike death? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It is not so, but rather it is that when the believer is given news of Allah's mercy, His approval and His Paradise, he likes to meet Allah and Allah likes to meet him; but when the unbeliever is given news of Allah's punishment and His displeasure, he dislikes to meet Allah and Allah dislikes to meet him. ~ al-Bukhari,Malik and Muslim.

2.     "The gates of Paradise will be opened on Mondays and on Thursdays, and every servant [of Allah] who associates nothing with Allah will be forgiven, except for the man who has a grudge against his brother. [About them] it will be said: 'Delay these two until they are reconciled; delay these two until they are reconciled.” ~Abu Hurayrah

3.     "Let not any one of you belittle himself." They said: "O Messenger of Allah, how can any one of us belittle himself?" He said: "He finds a matter concerning Allah about which he should say something, and he does not say [it], so Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says to him on the Day of Resurrection: 'What prevented you from saying something about such-and-such and such-and-such?' He will say: 'It was] out of fear of people.' Then He says: 'Rather it is I whom you should more properly fear.'" ~Ibn Majah


Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.

Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately; Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise).